AG Vahanvati is always right, but Govt. should assist Sistema and Telenor

Attorney General GE Vahanvati is always right, especially in the case of 2G spectrum cancellation. His stand is very clear and loud. Russian mobile player Sistema and Norwegian telecom operator Telenor cannot claim damages for cancellation of their 2G licences by an order of the Apex Court.

But I suggest that government (BSNL or MTNL) should take over their assets, if any. This is one of the options to revive the telecom industry. The support for the funding to BSNL and MTNL can come from the government in the way of some incentives. Government always bails out both BSNL and MTNL when they implement wrong strategies.

AG’s remarks (as per media reports) are not a major setback to foreign telecom players.

I believe Supreme Court, when it had cancelled 122 telecom licences granted to players after 2008, had corrected the situation. There is more clarity in telecom regulation. But Government needs to support investors in Indian telecom market. We want Verizon, AT&T, MTN, etc. to invest in India aggressively.

One publication said Vahanvati is learnt to have written that he is unable to reconsider his earlier opinion and has reiterated what he had stated previously.

Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Uninor and Loop Telecom have served notice to the Government under provisions of international trade agreements seeking damages claim from it for failing to protect their investments.

It is our duty to protect telecom investments. Several operators did not violate any guidelines of (ex-telecom minister Raja). We should not punish them. If the Government needs to punish erring telecom players, ask operators to ensure 100 percent improvement in quality of mobile services. They will be in deep trouble.